Take Care of the Little Things

I recently had a conversation with my oldest daughter who is ten that was very enlightening for me.  She told me that it hurt her feelings that I no longer sit on her bed and talk with her at bedtime.  This is something I used to do when she was smaller, where we would simply talk about random things or events of the day.  However, in the last year or so she has become a voracious reader.  So, I stopped our little bedtime talks thinking she would want to read instead.  After all, the content of those chats were rarely substantive.  I had no idea how important they were to her and that just a small amount of my attention communicated that she was important to me.  What I thought was inconsequential, she found very important.  My daughter reminded me that many times in life the seemingly simple and insignificant can be quite invaluable.

I was reminded of a story I have told before in a sermon about a man named Charlie Steinmetz. Charlie was a little person who was physically disabled; he was also a genius on the subject of electricity.  Steinmetz was the mastermind behind the massive turbines and generators that powered Henry Ford’s first automobile plant in Dearborn, Mich.  Thanks to Steinmetz, the cars began to roll off the assembly line and profits poured into Ford’s pockets.  All went smoothly for the first several months until suddenly everything shut down.  Mechanic after mechanic tried to fix the problem, but to no avail.  Finally, Ford called Steinmetz.  He showed up and went to work.  He fiddled with a few switches and a gauge or two.  He pushed a few buttons and messed with a few wires.  Then he threw the master switch and everything came back on.  In a few days, Steinmetz sent Ford a bill for $10,000.  Ford sent it back with a note attached that read, “Charlie, doesn’t it seem a little steep to charge me $10,000 for tinkering around with a few wires and switches?”  Steinmetz rewrote the bill and sent it back to Ford.  It read:

For tinkering around on the motors: $10.00;  For knowing where to tinker : $9,990.00.

What seemed mundane to Ford was actually of vital importance from Steinmetz’s perspective.  We need to remember this in life.  Those apparently mundane talks, fishing trips, and being at the ballgames/performances are of immense importance to your kids.  It’s the seemingly minor things that make marriages flourish.  It’s little things that often guard our hearts from straying away from the Lord and our time with Him.  Take inventory of your life and in the relationships you value the most: what you consider trivial, routine, or insignificant may well be extremely important things after all.


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2 Responses to “Take Care of the Little Things”

  1. I always loved it when we were all at Gaga & PaPa’s and you and Eric would want us to sit on the bed and talk. Such sweet, wonderful memories. Wish we could do it again!

  2. How true! I read a quote once that said something like, “Friendship is not (just) one big thing; it’s a million little things.” I think, as you said, that applies to so many of parts of our lives: our relationships (with God, our spouses, our children), our attitudes, our successes and failures, our complete approach to life. Thank You!